Manapine hits the Derby trail
Just as he did in the Spring, second season sire Manhattan Rain is bringing into play several promising runners set to make their mark in major 3YO races at 1600 metres and beyond.
The latest addition to that group is the Nigel Blackiston-trained Manapine, who unleashed a powerful finish to break his maiden by 3.25 lengths over 1400 metres at Ballarat last Thursday.
It was the only gelding’s second start following his debut second at Sale last August and his performance decisively franked Blackiston’s opinion of him.
“He’s a very nice horse. He ran a nice race first-up, we gave him time out and he’s come back bigger and stronger.
“I think he could possibly measure up to the South Australian Derby, if not something a bit better.” Manapine is also entered for the Australian Guineas and the Australian Derby.
Raced by Arrowfield with Tony & Judy Hodgson, Manapine is the third winner out of the Group-placed, city-winning mare Anapine (Anabaa), a sister to Group 3 winner Tall Timber & city winner Trauma, and a half-sister to Listed stakeswinner Taken.
Further back, this is the European family that produced Coronation Cup winner and champion sire Oncidium, and unbeaten Group 1-winning filly Catchascatchcan, the dam of Group 1 performer Antonius Pius, now at stud in South Africa.
Cocoa Bar, a second Arrowfield-owned & Blackiston-prepared 3YO son of Manhattan Rain, also pleased the stable with a third placing over 1200 metres at the same meeting.
The stable commented, “Chasing a strong pace all the way he was strong at the finish to be third behind the odds-on Karigara who has city form and he can improve a lot for this run.
“Cocoa Bar has scope for further improvement and he is still adjusting to racing left-handed, so to see him run so well is very pleasing.”
Cocoa Bar, from the stakes-placed city winner Sweet Ransom (by Red Ransom), was a $160,000 Blue Sky Bloodstock purchase from Newhaven Park at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. His second dam, Listed stakeswinner Rubitoff, is a sister to dual Group 1-winning sprinter Rubitano.
Moonovermanhattan, winner of the Moonee Valley Vase G2 last Spring, lifted off his unplaced opening run at Sandown to run a solid fourth in Saturday’s MRC Autumn S. G2, 2.9 lengths from the winner San Nicasio. He is nominated for both the Australian Guineas and the Australian Cup next month.
3YO filly Boundary has progressed steadily from her maiden win last November to Flemington success in January and her first start in Group company on Saturday. Although beaten 3.8 lengths by Sabatini in the MRC Kevin Hayes S. G3, she was doing her best work over the final stages. Her next assignment is likely to be the $200,000 MRC Angus Armanasco S. 1400m G2 on 28 February.
Meanwhile, Manhattan Rain’s 2012 crop is already throwing up likely stars for next season – two of his four second crop starters have already won.
Manhattan Blues scored well on debut at Morphettville in January and at his third start finished strongly for second in the MRC Inglis 2YO Premier (R) LR. He’s not entered for the Blue Diamond S. G1 and trainer Tony McEvoy says he is looking forward to getting him over a mile at three.
In New Zealand Platinum Dragon won his second start on 6 February, confirming the ability he had shown trainer Lisa Latta in trials and trackwork. He’s nominated for the Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. G1 on 27 March.
With 22 winners and $1.1 million in season earnings, Manhattan Rain is third on the Australian 2nd Season Sires’ list. He has six colts and three fillies catalogued for next month’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, including one of each sex in the Arrowfield draft.